Effects of ocean grid resolution on tropical cyclone-induced upper ocean responses using a global ocean general circulation model

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Tropical cyclones (TCs) have the potential to influence regional and global climate through interactions with the upper ocean. Here we present results from a suite of ocean-only model experiments featuring the Community Earth System Model, in which we analyze the effect of tropical cyclone wind forcing on the global ocean using three different horizontal ocean grid resolutions (3°, 1°, and 0.1°). The ocean simulations are forced with identical atmospheric inputs from the Coordinated Ocean-Ice Reference Experiments version 2 (COREv2) normal year forcing conditions, featuring global blended TC winds from a fully coupled CESM simulation with a 25 km atmosphere. The simulated TC climatology shows good agreement with observational estimates of annual TC statistics, including annual frequency, intensity distributions, and geographic distributions. Each ocean simulation is composed of a 5 year spin-up with COREv2 normal year forcing, followed by 18 months with blended TC winds. In addition, we conduct corresponding control simulations for each grid resolution configuration without blended TC winds. We find that ocean horizontal and vertical grid resolutions affect TC-induced heat and momentum fluxes, poststorm cold wake features, and ocean subsurface temperature profiles. The responses are amplified for smaller grid spacing. Moreover, analyses show that the annually accumulated TC-induced ocean heat uptake is also sensitive to ocean grid resolution, which may have important implications for modeled ocean heat budgets and variability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8305-8319
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • modeled mesoscale eddies
  • ocean heat convergence
  • ocean modeling
  • tropical cyclones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

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